Rare £100 'Palestine pounds' note sells for £140,000 at auction

Rare £100 bank note issued to high-ranking British officials in Palestine in 1927 sells for £140,000 at auction after being found in charity shop

  • Note was donated to Oxfam branch in Brenwtood, Essex
  • It is one of ten known to exist from the time of the British Mandate in Palestine
  • Volunteer Paul Wyman thought it may be valuable and contacted auction house
  • Experts at Spink auction house valued it at £30,000 but it sold for £140,000 
  • A rare £100 bank note found in a charity shop has sold for £140,000.

    Oxfam volunteer Paul Wyman was working in the Brentwood branch in Essex, when he spotted an unusual bank note in a box of donated items.

    The £100 ‘Palestine pounds’ note is one of less than ten known to exist and was issued to high ranking officials during the time of the British Mandate in Palestine in 1927.

    Savvy Mr Wyman decided not to put it on the shelves and contacted an auction house, where experts valued it at £30,000.

    But it sold for more than four times that amount when it went under the hammer at Spink auction house in London.

    Mr Wyman said: ‘I realised that I was holding something in my hands that was incredibly rare.

    ‘I couldn’t believe it when it went for £140,000.’

    An unknown donor brought it into the shop in October 2020, and it was assessed at the auction house in February 2022.

    A rare £100 bank note found in a charity shop has sold for £140,000. Oxfam volunteer Paul Wyman was working in the Brentwood branch in Essex, when he spotted an unusual bank note in a box of donated items. The £100 'Palestine pounds' note is one of less than ten known to exist and was issued to high ranking officials during the time of the British Mandate in Palestine in 1927

    A rare £100 bank note found in a charity shop has sold for £140,000. Oxfam volunteer Paul Wyman was working in the Brentwood branch in Essex, when he spotted an unusual bank note in a box of donated items. The £100 ‘Palestine pounds’ note is one of less than ten known to exist and was issued to high ranking officials during the time of the British Mandate in Palestine in 1927

    Savvy Mr Wyman decided not to put it on the shelves and contacted an auction house, where experts valued it at £30,000. But it sold for more than four times that amount when it went under the hammer at Spink auction house in London

    Savvy Mr Wyman decided not to put it on the shelves and contacted an auction house, where experts valued it at £30,000. But it sold for more than four times that amount when it went under the hammer at Spink auction house in London

    Paul watched the auction online from his home on April 28.

    Oxfam volunteer Paul Wyman

    Oxfam volunteer Paul Wyman

    He said: ‘The auctioneers originally valued it at £30,000 and I was amazed at that already – never mind £140,000.

    ‘Up until then I don’t think I really believed it could be a real note because they are so incredibly rare.’

    But bidders from all over the world, including the US and the Middle East, placed bids in the hopes of getting their hands on the note.

    In the end it sold for £140,000. The money will go towards Oxfam’s charitable work.

    Mr Wyman said: ‘It’s brilliant to know I played a part in raising so much money for Oxfam’s work helping the world’s poorest people.’

    Elaine Fung, a banknote specialist for Spink, said: ‘Less than ten of these banknotes are known to exist.

    ‘It would have been issued to a high ranking official at the time as a token of appreciation for their services.’

    Lorna Fallon, retail director for Oxfam, said: ‘We are so grateful to Paul and the Brentwood shop team for spotting this banknote, not to mention the generous member of the public who donated it to us.

    The note was among items donated to Oxfam's branch in Brenwood, Essex

    The note was among items donated to Oxfam’s branch in Brenwood, Essex

    ‘We are delighted that the banknote has raised so much money for Oxfam’s work around the world, which includes helping people in East Africa who are at risk of famine, and assisting refugees from Ukraine.’

    The rare banknote was issued during the British Mandate in Palestine in 1927, issued by the League of Nations in 1920.

    The auctioned banknote was £100 Palestine pounds, which was the currency at the time.

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